27.04.10 - ICTR/HATEGEKIMANA - ICTR URGES HATEGEKIMANA TO RECONSIDER HIS BOYCOTT OF CLOSING ARGUMENT

 

Arusha, April 27, 2010 (FH) -The Chamber II of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Tuesday adjourned for a day the defence closing arguments in the trial of genocide-accused Lieutenant Idelphonse Hategekimana  in order to give the suspect a chance to reconsider his act of boycotting the hearing.

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The defendant Monday refused to attend the session on grounds that he was not adequately represented by his lead defence counsel, Togolese Ahlonko Dovi.

But the motion filed to that effect on April 19 by the accused was rejected by the Chamber that further ruled that the closing arguments should continue as the application did not demonstrate exceptional circumstances which would warrant the bench to grant it.

‘'The Chamber has decided to give him (Hategekimana) another chance until tomorrow (Wednesday), hoping that he will be present to make his last remarks before the defence hearing is finally concluded,'' ICTR Chief of Press and Public Affairs Unit, Bocar Sy told Hirondelle News Agency.

A native of Mugina, in the former prefecture of Gitarama, central Rwanda, Hategekimana has pleaded not guilty to five charges, including genocide and crimes against humanity.

The trial started on March 16, 2009.

Hategekimana is one of the few ICTR accused who did not take witness stand in person to defend himself.

NI/SC/GF

© Hirondelle News Agency